Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Portrait - Help Wanted

Well I need some help. I am taking a portrait class, Faces in Technicolor by Sharon Tomlinson. Her blog describing the class is All Norah's Art . This is my very first portrait and I am not really ready for them but I wanted to learn how she adds all the colors to them.

So where I need help is with my drawing. I have pointed out what is wrong with the pictures many of you were asking for help on and I am now asking for help myself. I know the mouth needs a little change which I saw when I was uploading the pics but beyond that, what do I need to do to make this look like my grandson? Your advice is most welcome and needed.


  1. Okay, strictly as gentle critique since I used to do portraits:
    He has a very square jaw line and the drawing rounds it out a bit more. Also square out the upper portion of the hair area/head.
    Looking at drawing, the left ear needs to come up higher.
    Reduce the iris size slightly and lift the brows a bit.
    You have a darned good first drawing for someone who doesn't do these. Portraits are really difficult despite what some people say. if you want to capture the certain spirit of the person. Eyes can make or break a whole painting/drawing.
    None of this is meant to sound picky so please don't take it that way.
    Also, one way to see what is not quite right easily is to look at your work in a mirror and then everything pops out---it;s really amazing and a great time saver too.


  2. TImaree, I have to agree with Anne....the biggest thing I noticed was his face in the drawing looked wider than the photo. If you make the corrections Anne suggests, I think you'll fix that area. I also think his right eye is not quite right towards the inner corner (near the nose).

    The nose and mouth are spot on! Good work! Looking forward to seeing this in color!

  3. Hmmm... I am not really a professional portrait artist, and I only started doing it last year, and usually I do it by feel. When I draw a person smiling, I'd be smiling the whole time (I know...silly right), and treating the drawing like a good old friend.
    I'd say the face is a little wider than the photo, and Anne already has the solution for that. But it's still such an early stage, once you have shaded the portrait, then you'll see it coming to life, and it's still not too late to correct absolutely anything at that stage, because a lot of time I still make corrections at the final stages(make sure you have some clean erasers) and my final drawings sometimes can be so different than my initial sketches, I believe many can see that from my blog.
    Good luck! ^^

  4. As I'm not a portrait artist, and have trouble achieving likenesses when I have a go, I'm not qualified to comment. However, I think your first attempt is fantastic.

  5. You've already received some tremendously valuable comments- Anne sounds like an expert for sure! And I agree with Alex- give it more time- you'll figure it out. It's looking great!

  6. You've done an amazing job for being your first!! Amazing! I'd like to add that I don't think the smile you've drawn is quite wide enough. If you take a ruler and hold it vertically to his picture you'll see that the left side of his mouth (our left) aligns with the outer edge of his pupil. I'd wait to make that correction though until after you've done what Anne suggests. This vertical and horizontal line method is always great for checking your locations!

  7. You've done a spectacular job with this, especially since it's your first one. I don't have anything to add to the suggestions already posted except this. Once you've made the changes suggested, check out where the shadows are - half of his face is in shadow. The shadows seem to make a huge difference in how the finished product looks. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress with this. Sharon's portraits are stunning with all those beautiful colors she uses. I bet you'll learn a lot. nancy

  8. Hi Freebird! I really liked the comment you left on Carol's blog concerning the BP mess...Your artwork is wonderful also. :) Paulette

  9. You've gotten great advice so far, Timaree, and your sketch looks great for a first portrait. Have you tried drawing / checking it upside down to check angles? It works for me when I get stumped in an area, or to just double-check that what I was doing is correct. Looking forward to seeing it finished!

  10. Hi Timaree,
    you had good comments and tips, and I really like the one " looking at your drawing in a mirror" it does makes mistakes pop out (for me). Alex also is right, once you start adding shadings the face start to emerge like a sculpture, even just darkening the hair helps.
    As far as likeness, it is such a difficult thing to obtain, and for my part it is very difficult to do a portrait of loved one.
    I find your sketch really good and I hope to see the next stage soon.


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